Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Connaught workers: what it means to be a wage slave

After an outrageous display of dithering by the authorities, it appears that the former Connaught workers do have a job. Barnet Unison contacted KPMG last night and learned that KPMG had not known that Lovell had agreed to take the workers on when they issued redundancy notices.

It is still a very anxious time for the workers while they wait for all their paperwork. Why should they bear the stress? Connaught went bust; KPMG are disorganised. We all know that it is not a question of a bit of paperwork to the Connaught workers: it's about their lives!

This episode highlights something that it's easy to lose sight of. In this society if people don't have a job they go hungry (unless, of course, they are rich...). You can't scratch a living from the soil anymore (thank goodness!). We can't all become small business people providing goods and services to each other. Where would we get the money to pay for them? Who would make the things we sell?

One of the aspects of wage slavery that makes it so awful is the insecurity. In the era of modern capitalism, before it was somewhat civilised by the advent of public services, we didn't work unless someone was making a profit from it. We had no control over whether we worked or not and, thus - in a world of relative plenty - whether we ate or not.

Slavish devotion to the free market as a way to run the economy, the turn to privatisation away from public services (Future Shape/easyCouncil), entails a return to more insecurity for workers, and more stress like that the Connaught workers are going through. It's a bonkers idea.

1 comment:

Hammond's Lot said...

I'm sorry, the reports are stating about 39 'maintenance' workers may be re-employed. One would think that a number about 200 or more are the workforce, so what;'s happening to them.

Given that Barnet Homes once employed their former council colleagues here's a link to what Ealing Council, with the support of tenants, is doing with their ALMO due to, as you state, the insecurity and stress it brings to all concerned.

My apologies for this angry bit lest they forget. Councillor Brian Salinger, are you appreciative of your casting vote for an ALMO as the Housing Chairman?